would you let you 13 camp

(61 Posts)
Orchidlady Wed 17-Jul-13 09:45:58

DS 13 has got into his head that he would like arrange a camp out in a field, think rural field if farmer agrees. I don't think he is old enough, I also do not know any of the people he wants to invite and not sure other parents would be too happy about this. Am I being over protective?

Orchidlady Wed 17-Jul-13 13:04:07

No I meant DP, he is being useless and getting right on my nerves but another thread altogether. I think he can use the excuse that the farmer will not give permission as a way of saving face. tbh judging on replies in here not sure many parents would be comfortable with this, even worse for them as 10 miles away from home . Hoping to to get DS to see sense without another major meltdown.

I think it depends on the 13 year old's level of maturity and also on the circumstances. DS1 went on his expedition for the gold Scout award soon after his 13th birthday. He and three friends planned the route and their food themselves and completed the whole thing alone without any problems.

A Scout leader visited the campsite on the first night to check on them as it was very cold (-8) but they were fine, had cooked themselves a hot meal and pitched the tent securely. The warden said afterwards that they were no trouble and left no litter.

So the camping in itself is something that a group of 13 year olds can safely do unsupervised, but all 13 year olds are different, and those who are susceptible to peer pressure could find that their judgement suffers if they are with risk-taking friends.

Just realised that my last comment makes DS1 sound a lot more perfect than the reality. He does happen to be very law-abiding, responsible, sensible and reliable. He is also moody, over-sensitive, sarcastic and the most cynical 13 year old I have come across! grin

Orchidlady Wed 17-Jul-13 13:40:17

Thanks three I know I would be able to trust DS to do something similar as he is a very experienced camper and sensible boy in so many ways. But this planned "camping night" in my mind has very little to do with camping iyswim. Especially in light of the comments on FB, know he will hate me looking there. Lots of referenced to booze, drugs and awful language.

It sounds as though he and his friends have got themselves into an online contest of all trying to out-do each other in their language and claims of alcohol/drug use. All normal teenage behaviour, that only becomes a problem when they have to either follow through in real life, or lose face. He might be feeling out of his depth and actually welcome an excuse to get out of it ("my parents are bare peak, they are so strict, they won't let me do anything"). You know him best, so trust your judgement.

Owllady Wed 17-Jul-13 14:44:55

I would allow them to camp in the garden, ours or one of his friends. In a field, no.

noddyholder Wed 17-Jul-13 17:54:40

My ds wanted to go to glastonbury when he was 11 hmm so we recreated it at home They have never forgotten it even though him and his mates are 19 now!

BackforGood Wed 17-Jul-13 23:44:50

Not in the circumstances you describe.
Like 3BG1, the actual camping I would have originally been willing to talk about, but the fact he (or his friend) have already lied to the friend's parents, and the fact they are doing all the talk of drink and drugs on FB, then he's lost the chance as far as I would be concerned. Even if it is all talk for him, he's now publicised it to all and sundry he's got on FB

flow4 Thu 18-Jul-13 08:19:17

I have just said a provisional 'yes' to camping for my own 13yo DS 2, but there are a string of circumstances and conditions, and if any one of these wasn't so, my answer would be no:
- They're sensible, responsible boys (think 'geeks' and you won't be far wrong!)
- I know them all, and their parents, so we can be sure of permission and agree rules
- Almost all of them have camped before with their parents, so they know what they're doing
- They're planning a spot I can reach in 5 mins if there are any problems
- The spot is out of sight of the road, so they're unlikely to be found and pestered

DS1 did his first camp-out at a similar age, so I'm on familiar territory. And he was (is) much more of a risk-taker. The first time, I provided pizzas after dark, ostensibly as a treat, but also to check up on them! grin Other times, we had an arrangement that I would call during the eve, and that if he didn't answer, I would turn up at the camp site. I also always told him (as I will tell DS2) that if anything went wrong, at any time of night, they could all turn up at our house... They did that once, when DS was 14, and older teens had come along and stolen all their tent pegs...

Chopstheduck Thu 18-Jul-13 08:23:10

I'd do it in the garden. Our neighbour's eldest throws a big camping party every year, they get a few beers in and play music til the early hours.He msut have started at around the same age, though not sure when the beers started - my 13yo is only allowed the odd taste!

I'd have let ds1 at 13 as he and his friends were all very sensible then. Two years later however and I'd have said no. He's now 17 and of course he could.

I think what I'm trying badly to say is that it comes down to maturity, not age. From what you have said, I'd have to say no.

cory Thu 18-Jul-13 09:03:25

It's not about what you would let a 13yo do, is it, but about what you would let the 13yo do? As in the one who is putting about silly boasts on facebook and seem desperate to impress other teens.

I'd be much happier with a real wildlife hike on the moors or something than this which just sounds like an excuse for a party, attracting all the out of control older teens around. And I absolutely would not throw a camper party in the garden for this boy, just now. It's not the camping that is the problem but his immaturity around his peers.

Orchidlady Thu 18-Jul-13 09:15:16

Thanks for all your replies. I have had a good chat with him and calmly told him why I think this is not a good idea. He also promised that he had not tried drugs and was only showing off, I actually believe him he is a real worrier. I have suggested the camp in the garden thing we a just a few people he actually likes, we do have the room. I have given him the get out " farmer will not give permission" to save face with his mates.

chocoluvva Thu 18-Jul-13 09:37:39

Some of his mates are probably secretly happier with this arrangement too.

Hope they have a good night and you have a quiet night.

Owllady Thu 18-Jul-13 09:40:04

I live on agricultural land and I imagine the farmer might not be happy with the arrangement anyway wink it's pretty dangerous in the country at this time of year with all the activity
and randoms ponds in fields in the dark and storm drains and so on, cesspits!<shudder> it's safer to be in the garden or on a proper site - regardless of drink and drugs smile

Orchidlady Thu 18-Jul-13 10:26:06

owl I know, I was especially worried about fire, considering the weather. choco I think you are right, they all full of bravado.

Hmmm - think my kids must be angels. Boys age 13 and nearly 12. They've had the tent up all week in the back garden and had various friends over to spend the night in it. The worst we have had is talking a bit too loud and No2 son took his ipod out there but swears he never used it, just for the time. No fires, no alcohol, no drugs - just used up all the milk and cereal and bread.

I'd let them camp in a field if they asked, but I have the history of good behaviour to start from.

In your case, I think I wouldn't, if he wants to start with the back garden and prove himslef then maybe you could build up to that.

throckenholt Thu 18-Jul-13 14:07:23

I think most farmers would be very wary unless they knew the kids personally - not many would want to risk their field accidentally catching fire at this time of the year. So the farmer excuse is probably valid anyway - did any of them actually talk to the farmer or just come up with the idea on their own ?

flow4 Thu 18-Jul-13 17:55:30

On the subject of boys and bravado... I once watched my DS1, then aged 13, on FB chat with an older boy... "Whatsup?" asked the other boy. "Not much" replied my DS from our sitting room, "Just at Joe's having a spliff" shock hmm

grin Ds1 doesn't do bravado but dd will. She's trying it on already and she's 9!

Orchidlady Fri 19-Jul-13 08:48:40

All gone quiet on the camping front. throck We do know the farmers personally but I still worry, especially with this weather. flow you did make me laugh, saw a very similar exchange with DS older cousin, Same " Whasup?" "not much" sitting in our kitchen " I on me 5th pint m8" ( he has has a small glass of cider with dinner.) takes more than that man to affect me"

dexter73 Fri 19-Jul-13 09:32:21

That made me laugh Orchidlady!

I was listening to my two (13 and almost 12) outside with a group of friends trying to decide what to do. The eldest of group (but the smallest) says "how about a game of Piggy in the middle?" to which another of the boys replies with a sneer "mate, what are we? like 5 or something?" so, first boy tries again, "well, hide and seek then?" to which they all go "Yeah!! great!" and all rush off round the estate. grin

sometimes dispite all the posturing, they just want to be wee boys smile

despite! fat brain today, can't even blame it on my fingers!

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